by Dr Wendyann Richardson
In last week’s article we examined the current state of the economy and the need to thoroughly assess where we are, where we are going and how we are going to get there.
It was suggested that attention should be placed on the corporate board and the need to hold our executives at a higher standard. One may argue that we have staggered into the 21st century only to find, “a star wars civilization, with stone age emotions, medieval institutions, and godlike technology” Edward O Wilson.
Be that as it may, we cannot afford to continue business as usual. We need to refashion our institutions, by establishing our expectations of our leaders inclusive of our regulators, legislators and executives, by outlining the areas of their current efficacy and those areas of which they should be effective in the future. For too long, our leaders occupy these positions and become complacent and outmoded in their services, forgetting that they were not only appointed because of their current knowledge and abilities but also for the heights in which their continuous professional development (CPD) can take our corporations.
The strongest chain is only as weak as its weakest link. Therefore, at the pinnacle of our corporations, the individual contribution of each board member must be assessed and noted, if growth and development is to be facilitated. A practical way of doing this is by using a skills matrix. This maximises the strengths and inputs of individual directors, the overall strength and skills diversity of board and the level of its impact as a whole. Once the precedence has been set at the top, this attitude of continuous development will be filtered down through the organisation.
However, it is unfortunate that even at the top; many can be found wanting in this regard, causing the institution to rot from the head. To whom much is given much is required, hence, the over confidence of our leaders, their age, pass experiences or affiliations can no longer be accepted as excuses to slight the need for CPD. Therefore, it is time that stakeholders demand that our corporate leaders participate in yearly CPD in order to keep abreast of changing regulations; that they are externally evaluated during their tenure and that new directors are inducted, as is expected of employees, so that they can be most effective in their functions.